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5 Fun Facts About August 17 In Florida History

---Learn Every Day: FL Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history fl To: 618-270-4005---

1. Hurricane Charley made landfall on August 17, 2004, causing extensive damage in southwest Florida. The Category 4 storm caused over $15 billion in damages and resulted in 35 fatalities.

2. On August 17, 1959, the first section of the Florida Turnpike opened between Fort Pierce and Okeechobee. The turnpike is now a major transportation route in Florida, stretching over 300 miles from Miami to the panhandle.

3. The University of Central Florida was founded on August 17, 1963, in Orlando. Today, it is one of the largest universities in the country, with over 68,000 students enrolled.

4. On August 17, 1985, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Art Schlichter was arrested in Florida for his involvement in a sports betting operation. Schlichter eventually served prison time for his actions.

5. The first commercial flight departed from Miami International Airport on August 17, 1928, bound for Havana, Cuba. Today, Miami International is one of the busiest airports in the world, serving millions of passengers each year.
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